OUR new signing Lee Erwin is a big lad and in terms of how the Leeds United fans can relate to him, I do think that he has the look of a young Mark Viduka.
He’s big and strong and holds the ball up really well and has two good feet and can control a ball well and looks comfortable on both sides, just like Mark did for me.
Obviously, he’s not the finished article and he has still got a little bit to learn.
He has played very little football over the last few years. But there’s a hell of lot of potential there.
If we get off to a good start and get his confidence up and the fans like him, then the world is his oyster really.
He has a big chance to be very successful here, in my opinion.
I went to Scotland about six weeks ago and the president (Massimo Cellino) said to me that he’d been recommended Lee and asked me if I knew anything about him.
To be honest, I said I didn’t but I was going up to Scotland that week and I said the easiest way was to go and have a look at him – and I saw him in a game against Kilmarnock and was really impressed by what I saw.
It’s nice to have a Scottish lad at Leeds. We lost two of the best ones of the past few years in little Ross (McCormack) and Robert Snodgrass and both were players who I thought a lot about.
Unfortunately, at the time they had to be sold. One, they had to go for their own personal reasons, and two – they needed the money. It suited everybody in the end.
But with the president wanting to keep all the young boys here and not planning to move them on, I think it is very, very healthy and something we should appreciate.
We have got something to build on now. Lee adds to our good bunch of young lads.
When we had a good side, and later Howard Wilkinson, David O’Leary and Eddie did, it was a similar story – with a group of young kids coming through together.
They were friends on and off the field and of the same age and that showed on the pitch in terms of performances and results.
In all fairness, in the past few years we have brought in a few older players who were getting to the end of their careers and we were looking for a quick fix.
It didn’t work and I think this is a far more healthy way to do it.
I think our fans will enjoy seeing young players coming through and, hopefully, we can get back to where we hope to be with these lads.
I said last year in my columns that in all fairness to the president, with the transfer embargo and him being banned, that he has not really had a lot of time to get what he wants to do finally done.
Now he is having his chance and showing what his plan is.
I think he is going down the right line as the first thing I was worried about at the end of the year was possibly losing the young boys, especially Sam Byram.
Sam was been here a few years and I thought his agent or somebody might be saying: ‘This is your time to move, son.’
We have been able to hold off all the pressure and have been able to bring in even more young talent and I think that can only be good.
We are still a few players short, obviously. But we have a big lad through the middle and we need a wide player now to get some balls into him.
Also looking at us at the back, we need to sort something out in central defence.
We are very good going forward, but one of our biggest problems last year was leaking a lot of goals.
We need to stop that, you win more goals by not conceding than by scoring goals.
Sol Bamba did well and had the experience. I don’t know what the situation is with him, but we certainly looked a lot better at the back when he came in.
But the one thing that worried me then and does now was that we were just a little bit short of pace and even Sol did not have that kind of pace.
The way the game is played in the Championship, where teams play balls into space for forwards to run into, you need a bit of pace.
But that said, I am ever more optimistic we can do well next season.